[Accessory Review] Afterglow Wireless Deluxe CTRL from PDP

Written by Kieran Fifield

Afterglow for Nintendo Switch

Hot off of the heels of their brilliant Wired Afterglow controller, an alternate edition of the equally brilliant Faceoff Deluxe+, PDP gaming are back with an all new and utterly luminescent offering for the Nintendo Switch.

Shine bright like a Diamond

This time, the focus is on accessibility, with the Wireless being just that, Wireless. What this means for the the disconcerting consumer is that unlike previous Afterglow controller’s, there is no room for the headphone jack. Whilst this is a shame, the Wireless Afterglow has a different mission, it’s going after Nintendo’s throat, and aims to offer the most opulent wireless controller on the market.

It’s not an exact clone, but the addition of Gyro aiming is a welcome one. Whether you are a full blown Splatoon slave or an exhibitionist still discovering the many mysteries of Hyrule in BOTW, that little advantage of tweaking your aim ever so slightly with the tilt of a controller still applies. And is still just as satisfying.

The unit itself is well made, feeling sturdy when heartily wedged between the palms of your hands. Despite it’s radiant hue, it is a solid piece of kit, and the clear plastic housing is well tempered, providing a platform for the delectable LED’s to Express themselves. Despite it’s primary function as a competent controller, the Afterglow is a truly beautiful thing that will surely become a real vanity product for Nintendo Switch enthusiasts.

The hardest button to button

The buttons are almost perfect, with very little travel and a nice soft-to-touch feel that seldom causes fatigue. The analogue sticks are slightly indented with a scored circular pattern that offers unparalleled grip. On top of that you also have 2 mappable buttons positioned where your ring finger(s) go, which are handy for titles such as Smash, where they can give you an extra advantage due to ease of access. They also lend themselves to Pokemon Sword and Shield, as they essentially let you to play the game one handed – allowing you to peruse Twitter at your pleasure whilst forcing yourself through another ‘nearly’ entry in the series. If perhaps the customisable buttons simply aren’t for you, then you can just slide the whole back panel out.

LEDs get down to business!!

Let’s get down to business, the reason you’re all here is obviously because of the decadent little LEDs flittered throughout the controller’s clear casing. Thankfully, they are incredibly simple to customise to your liking. Or if you’d simply prefer a more traditional experience, turn them off altogether. Nestled at the bottom left of the right analogue stick is a little nub button, that when held in, allows full control off the light settings. The D-Pad allows you to scroll through the wide array of colours and just use a single tone, but experimentation with some of the controller’s other buttons will lead to some interesting effects. (See video atop the page for a detailed explanation.)

At first I found the lights a little too bright. However, through experimentation I discovered that you could actually change this. Little touches like this really elevated the entire experience. The amount of customisation available made the Afterglow shine bright. Pun very much intended.

Considering the amount going on with the Afterglow, the battery life is faultless. I clocked 18 hours of gameplay before I needed to charge the controller. Although not quite as opulent as the Pro Controller, that’s still a lot of juice. Whilst not a complaint as such, it’s a shame that it doesn’t charge via USB-C. It may seem like a petty gripe, but C is slowly becoming standard practice.

Conclusion

PDP have crafted a thing of beauty that not only looks good, but offers nearly unprecedented control as well. While NFC is missing, it is otherwise a fully featured Nintendo Switch controller. Paired with the excellent battery life, the Afterglow is must have.

Pros

  • Utterly incandescent
  • Gyro controls
  • Exemplary battery life

Cons

  • Not USB C
  • No NFC

Verdict

The Afterglow Wireless controller is a genuine rival for the Pro Controller’s crown, and as a budget offering, might just be the best option we’ve seen so far.

4.5/5

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